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The Clipless Kickstarter project and its implications for Tasker NFC use

The Clipless is an interesting project that’s on Kickstarter to get funding right now, and have actually already reached the funding goal. It’s a mounting system that consists of a piece you attach to your phone, tablet, or case, and some compatible pieces you can attach to either surfaces or even clothing. The idea is to have a device you can slide onto holders all over the place, removing the need for bulky holders, while still not requiring a special case which many similar products do.

Now, the interesting thing here is that someone tipped off the project creators about NFC, and they’re putting that in the surface mounts. What that basically means is that the small pieces designed to let the Clipless attach to surfaces will have a NFC chip in them, allowing you to program them to trigger various things on your phone. In true “I have never heard of Tasker”-fashion, the team has partnered up with some random NFC task trigger app that’s essentially a very, very (very, very, very) stripped down, NFC-only version of Tasker, but since NFC-tags aren’t app-specific, there’s no reason you can’t just ignore this “partnered” app and just use the Clipless with Tasker and an NFC plug-in.

What that means in practice is that if you have an NFC enabled phone, the Clipless will provide you with a mounting system where you can program each surface mount to launch a Tasker task. This can be something simple like opening a cooking app when you slide your phone into its kitchen mount, or a more complicated task that enables needed equipment for watching movies and starts voice recognition to ask you what you want to watch when you mount it near your home theater. A very obvious use would be to put it in your car and have it start a car mode, which in Tasker can mean a fully custom scene with everything you need.

The NFC part is of course not new here, as NFC stickers are available for next to nothing, but I like the idea of combining it with a mount system that you can use in several locations. My phone doesn’t have NFC, which is one of very few things I miss on the aging thing, and seeing this has rekindled my envy of those that do have an NFC-enabled device. At $35 for two connectors and 6 NFC-enabled mounts, it’s cheap enough so that I wouldn’t worry about slapping those mounts everywhere.

Since this is a Kickstarter project though, you will have to wait a while to get your hands on these, as they’re expected to ship in October. Because of that, I think I should mention that you can easily make something like this yourself, by using quick release plates for tripods and cameras combined with NFC stickers. It will be a bit clumpier, but it’s essentially the exact same concept, except for the clothing version of the mount.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

16 thoughts on “The Clipless Kickstarter project and its implications for Tasker NFC use

  • While I dig the idea, I don’t think it’s actually gonna work that good.

    Reason is simple: most phones aren’t unibody, let alone have a metal back. My Xperia S, a flagship phone of 2012(!), only has a 1-2mm thick plastic backcover which is easily bendable by hand and hold in place by very tiny hinges. I wouldn’t want to hold the phone on that part alone, let alone move it which increases the forces even more.

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  • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

    Between this being instantly compatible with all Apple products and any phone via the use of a case, I don’t think that will be much of an issue

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    • If I’d need a case, then all benefits aren’t available any longer.

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      • It works on a phone or a case. Now, say approximately 5% of phone models, we do recommend using a case. Sometimes is slight geometry, other times it’s the flimsy backs.

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  • NFC Task Launcher (What they talk about in the second video) is already compatible with Tasker, so this should be extra awesome out of the box.
    I almost never check out Kickstarter, thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      NFC tags and NFC reader apps have nothing to do with one another, so the partner app here will never be needed for any functionality. I’d personally rather use Tasker-specific NFC plugins than anything that has Tasker compatibility thrown on as one of a hundred features.

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      • What’s the difference between NFCTagLauncher being able to execute any Tasker-Task and having a plugin for NFC in Tasker? I for one don’t see one.

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        • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

          A proper plugin takes up much less space on the phone (for phones that have storage issues), is much less likely to run unnecessary background processes related to something that’s part of the part of the app you dont use, is less likely to have a ton of updates you don’t actually need,is less likely to fill things like widget lists, shortcuts lists, share lists etc with options you don’t need, and, most importantly, is accessed from within tasker rather than tasker being accessed from within those apps.

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        • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

          Oh, and for Tasker plugins, fixing Tasker related issues is obviously on the top of the priority list. So is adding more features. For apps that happen to have Tasker support, or have it as an afterthought, it’s normally fairly far down. That’s the reason why AutoVoice is so much better for creating a Tasker voice assistant than Utter, despite having been out far shorter

          Reply
          • Avatar of Patrick Harris

            Good point!

      • The only reason I got NFC tags was to use Tasker with. The app they reference (and I use) is free, because it just reads the ID of the NFC tag, instead of what is written to it. This works for me because the tags are only for me, so if I want to open a webpage or set an alarm or whatever I can have Tasker handle that.

        From what I can tell, actually writing something to the tag is only useful to pass information between phones ie. open a webpage on any phone that scans it, or pass contact info around with a vcard.

        I’m not against paying for the NFC plugin for Tasker, just haven’t found a need for it.

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        • Avatar of Wes Stacey

          The Locale NFC Plugin uses the id of the tag and it works great without requiring a standalone app.

          Reply
  • Co-founder here folks! Hi folks! Good stuff Andreas, I think the entire article is fair from a “first-look” perspective.

    I’m going to chime in on the various threads started already. If anybody else has any questions, don’t hesitate.

    Reply
  • Hey Andreas,

    Kulveer here, one of the founders of said “random NFC Task Trigger app” (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jwsoft.nfcactionlauncher). I’d be happy to answer any questions you have.

    We’re quite big fans of Tasker, and give it its own category within the app for people who want to launch Tasker tasks directly. Our users quite like the integration.

    We’ve recently partnered with TYLT as well on some of their accessories, and think there’s room in the market for someone who has an NFC only focus to automation.

    Google used our app at IO last year to demo NFC and we’ve been featured by them. We’ve also just passed half a million downloads and have users executing over two million actions per week.

    I’d be happy to send you some free tags if you’d like to play around with it. We’d love your feedback.

    Best,

    Kulveer

    Reply

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